VapeOnly Aura Mini Review
The VapeOnly Aura Mini packs a 1450 mAh battery and supports coils down to 0.3 ohms, making it a heavy-hitter when it comes to performance but it’s still well-suited to beginners. But is the device worth the purchase?
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- Very simple, beginner-friendly operation.
- Top-filling clearomizer.
- Great price – $27.50 for the battery and clearomizer.
- Sleek, straightforward design.
- Anti spit-back mouthpiece.
- 1450 mAh battery will keep you vaping for most of the day between charges.
- Supports sub-ohm coils for fantastic vapor production.
- Excellent choice for a just-switching smoker.
- Flavor is a little muted.
- Some manufacturing issues – for example, the fire button occasionally gets stuck.
- No indication of battery level until it needs charging.
- A few variable voltage options would be a nice addition.
Aura Mini Review
The situation is getting better and better for new vapers. Where once you’d be stuck with cigalikes or low-powered eGo-style options, the new generation of eGo-style e-cigs maintains the simplicity of the older variety but boosts the battery life and supports sub-ohm coils to improve the power output. The upshot is that modern beginner e-cigarettes boast performance that you’d previously have only gotten from a mod in an easy-to-use format.
The VapeOnly Aura Mini is one of these new-style eGo devices, with a 1450 mAh battery and a top-fill clearomizer with easily replaceable vertical sub-ohm coils for superior performance. The result is a superb-looking beginners’ e-cigarette, priced at just $27.50 on Heaven Gifts, but is it worth the purchase? We’ve put the device to the test in our Aura Mini review to find out.
What You Get
The Aura Mini comes in a simple cardboard box, with a picture of the device and the name on the outer sleeve and the device itself nestled in a foam block inside. Under the device, there’s an instruction manual, a USB charger and a spare coil for the clearomizer (alongside the one already installed). This gives you more than enough to get started: all you need to do is add some e-liquid, but picking up some extra coils would probably be wise too.
Design and Compatibility
The VapeOnly Aura Mini has a straightforward but effective design: a single-color tube (either in silver, black or gold) with a fire button on the upper end of the battery and two small windows in the clearomizer so you can see how much juice you have left. The clearomizer has a separate section below the mouthpiece, which you unscrew to access the tank and the coil, and that also doubles as an airflow control ring. The mouthpiece itself is unusual, with a small spout offset to one side, which is intended to minimize spit-back.
On the opposite side to the fire button there’s a small micro-USB port, and aside from that the device is pretty much bare. There are two logos – one VapeOnly one below the USB port and another Aura Mini one at the bottom-end of the battery on the fire button side – but they’re fairly discreet and don’t detract much from the overall appearance.
When you unscrew the top of the clearomizer, the central stem comes out too – with the coil attached – leaving a completely open space to fill up into. This is excellent from a design perspective; it removes the need to avoid the central tube when you fill up and makes the whole process a lot simpler. The coil itself simply unscrews from the stem, and the replacement just screws into its place. When you tighten it down, the point on the bottom makes contact with the bottom of the clearomizer and completes the circuit.
The connection on the battery is 510-threaded, which means it will work with most of the atomizers on the market. The appearance is a little odd with virtually any other atomizer, since the diameter of the battery is much lower than the 22 mm standard, but it will technically work, and the willingness to fire coils as low as 0.3 ohms makes sub-ohm tanks a possibility. However, it makes most sense to just use the clearomizer included in the kit, for the streamlined appearance if nothing else.
As a simple, beginner-friendly device, there are very few features on the Aura Mini, but it does have a couple of useful extras it’s worth mentioning. Firstly, you can turn it off by pressing the fire button five times in quick succession, with the oval light on the fire button flashing red to let you know it’s switched off. This isn’t an impressive feature, but it’s invaluable for avoiding accidental firing when you’ve got the device in a pocket.
The device also lets you vape while charging, which is a great feature for just-switching smokers who might not have a spare device. Of course, the Aura Mini also comes with all of the expected safety features, including short circuit, low voltage, low resistance and overheating protection.
Some extra features – such as some options for varying your voltage – would have been nice additions, but overall the Aura Mini does everything it needs to.
The combination of simplicity of use and solid performance makes the VapeOnly Aura Mini a pleasure to vape with on a day-to-day basis.
The ease of use is pretty hard to beat in a refillable device, thanks to the top-filling mechanism of the clearomizer and the fact that the central stem and coil come out when you unscrew the top. All you do is unscrew it and fill up (to the top of the “window” of the clearomizer), then re-attach and you’re ready to vape. The 2 ml clearomizer capacity may be a little small, but it’s in line with that offered by similar devices.
The vapor production is excellent too, especially for a beginner-level device. When you hold down the fire button, the vaporization starts immediately, and you don’t have to hold it for long to get a satisfying cloud of vapor. It isn’t a serious cloud-producer, obviously, but there’s more than enough vapor for just-switching smokers or non cloud-chasing vapers. I normally use dripping atomizers, but the vapor production was still plenty for my tastes.
The draw is fairly airy even with the airflow control ring fully closed down, but it has enough resistance in the draw to support the mouth-to-lung hits smokers are accustomed to. The airflow control functionality is pretty limited, though, you can open up the draw a little, but since you do this by unscrewing the coil you can only go so far without losing connection.
Flavor-wise, the Aura Mini is pretty good. This is one area where it doesn’t quite live up to sub-ohm tanks or rebuildables – the taste is slightly muted – but you can definitely still enjoy your juice. The coils do need a bit of attention after a couple of tanks full – just an occasional rinse to clean it out – in order to maintain the flavor and prevent a slightly burnt taste, but this is true for most clearomizers.
The mouthpiece is a little unusual, but when you get accustomed to it the benefits of reducing spit-back outweigh the slightly odd feeling that you’re vaping through a straw. When your coil is approaching the end of its lifespan, you’ll get the occasional bit of spit-back (along with some flooding of the coil), but it does work well overall.
The substantial battery life of the Aura Mini makes it a great device to take out of the house, with the 1450 mAh being more than enough to keep most vapers going throughout the day. It lasts me through most of the day and into the evening, but with less intensive vaping it could easily keep you going through the day. The only downside is that there’s little indication of battery level – the fire button’s LED starts to light up red (instead of white) when you press it and it needs to be charged, but an extra change in the color of the LED (to amber, maybe, like on the iTaste MVP series) would have been a nice addition.
Finally, charging is as simple as you’d expect: plug in the micro-USB cable and it starts charging, with the LED lighting up white to show that it’s charging. When it’s done – which takes around an hour and a half to two hours – the LED switches off. And, as mentioned earlier, you can still vape when it’s charging.
Overall, the performance and the whole experience in use from the Aura Mini is pretty good: there is definitely room for improvement in the flavor and the airflow control system, but the simplicity of operation and the impressive vapor production wins out.
The manufacturing quality on the Aura Mini is pretty good, but there are some minor issues. Firstly, the threading doesn’t seem all that well-done, particularly at the top of the clearomizer, where you often run into issues with cross-threading. The biggest manufacturing issue I noticed during testing with the tendency for the fire button to get stuck from time to time. It wasn’t hugely serious – giving it a little push normally frees it up – but it is a little disconcerting when you remove your thumb from the button but it keeps firing.
Overall, it isn’t the highest-quality build, but the issues are only minor, and for the most part everything works exactly as it should.
The Aura Mini is a solid eGo-style device that’s perfectly-suited to just-switching smokers looking for an improvement in performance in comparison to the standard options. The price is also really good in comparison to similar devices – for instance, the eGo One Mini has a smaller battery but costs over $50 – so it’s a solid option for vapers on a budget. Some minor tweaks to the design and the addition of variable voltage would have improved it, but overall it’s a great option, nonetheless.